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85% of SMBs Having Problems with Backup and Recovery

Results of the SMB Virtualization Data Protection Report.

The report is designed to explore the impact of virtualization on SMBs' data protection, backup and recovery strategies in the same manner as Virtualization Data Protection Report for Enterprises.

The survey of 500 SMBs across the USA and Europe found that they are experiencing significant issues with the cost, complexity and lack of capabilities of their data protection for virtual environments. In particular, 85% of SMBs are experiencing cost-related challenges with backup and recovery, 83% with lack of capabilities and 80% with complexity. This means there is a maximum of 15% of SMBs that currently have no issues with data protection.

Other key findings were:
  • Recovery of SMBs' virtual servers is only a little faster than physical servers, at 4 hours 21 minutes and 4 hours 51 minutes respectively.
  • Recovery of individual files such as emails, takes up to 12 hours 8 minutes. This may be because 62% of SMBs often have to recover more than needed to retrieve a single file or application item.
  • 67% of SMBs' backup tools use agents, which can add to complexity: 76% of those SMBs encounter problems such as difficulty managing agents, slow performance and both backup and recovery failing too often.
  • 63% of SMBs believe their backup and recovery tools will become less effective as the amount of data and servers in their organization grows.
  • 41% of SMBs stated that downtime in the event of an IT failure costs $150,000 or more per hour: meaning that outages can cost these organizations $600,000 or more based on the recovery times given.
  • More than 1 in 6 (17%) recoveries of backed-up machines cause SMBs problems, increasing recovery times and the cost of downtime. This is not surprising considering only 8% are tested.
  • Currently, an average of 33% of SMBs' virtual infrastructure is not backed-up.
  • 55% of SMBs are planning to change their backup tool for virtual servers by 2014.
85% of SMBs identified cost-related challenges with their backup and recovery of virtual environments, including: high ongoing management costs (51%), expensive licensing models (48%) and backups either requiring or using too much storage (44%).
 
83% reported capability-based challenges, including: backups taking too long (40%), recovery taking too long (34%, suggesting that the majority are happy with 4 hours' recovery time), difficulty recovering virtual servers (25%) and file- and application-level recovery being too difficult (22%).

Lastly, 80% of SMBs are facing complexity-related challenges with their data protection, including: backups needing ongoing management (52%), too many virtual servers to backup (35%) and backup tools being difficult to configure and use (32%).
 
At the same time, SMBs are looking to solve these issues. 55% are planning to change their backup tool for virtual serves in this period, with the average time to change being only 10 months. The reasons given to replace their current tools include TCO (46%), complexity (44%), and lack of capabilities such as failure to meet RTOs (30%) and RPOs (21%). This is in tandem with a growth in virtualization. While they currently form 52% of the IT infrastructure, virtual servers are expected to form 63% within 2 years. This may also increase the amount of servers that are protected. Currently, 67% of the virtual environment is backed-up, meaning that almost a third of SMBs' virtual infrastructure is unprotected.

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